Reviews for Sky High : The True Story of Maggie Gee
Booklist Reviews 2009 June #1
*Starred Review* There are a number of biographies of women pilots, and a few books about the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP), including a novel for older readers, Sherri L. Smith's Flygirl (2009). This particularly well-crafted picture book for middle grades comes to the subject through Maggie Gee, a young girl with a dream. As a child, instead of going to the movies, Maggie and her family head out to a landing strip to watch planes take off and land. Right then, Maggie knows she was born to fly. When World War II breaks out, opportunity presents itself in the form of the WASP, a group of female pilots allowed by the armed services to do training and transport missions. Perhaps best known for her Amelia books, Moss makes an interesting decision here. Though Maggie is clearly Asian American, her race does not come up in the story until a fellow pilot mistakes her for a Japanese spy. Prejudice is an issue that might have been the underpinnings of the story, but instead it's a subject that never overshadows Maggie's love of flight. Based on interviews with Gee, this has a lovely, personal feel to it. And while some of the faces in the acrylic and colored-pencil illustrations are a bit stiff, the scenes themselves exude a panoramic joy. Back matter features photographs of the real Maggie Gee. Copyright 2009 Booklist Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2010 Spring
Young Maggie Gee worshiped Amelia Earhart and aspired to become a pilot. In this picture book biography, a cheerful first-person narrative (with invented dialogue) follows Gee's maturation from young dreamer to one of two female Chinese American service pilots in WWII. Vivid acrylic and colored-pencil illustrations emphasize the power of determination. An author's note and archival photographs provide further information. Copyright 2010 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.
Kirkus Reviews 2009 July #2
Maggie Gee longed to fly--but she grew up in the 1930s, when many women were not allowed to pilot planes. Instead, she watched in rapture at the airport, soaking up every detail of flight. After many years of dreaming, World War II suddenly changed Maggie's life forever. To serve her country, she joined the Women Airforce Service Pilots--she was finally able to fly. Maggie was only one of two Chinese-American women in the WASP and was on occasion mistaken for an enemy pilot. But that never dampened her spirit. She just climbed back in her plane and looped through the sky. Moss tells Maggie's story in first-person narration, giving the text an immediate and personal tone, although the liberal and uncredited use of dialogue places this squarely in the realm of fiction. Angel's bold, bright acrylics burst forth with Maggie's determination and passion. In one spread, Maggie stands in a field with arms held wide--as her shadow casts the form of the plane she yearns to fly. An inspirational tale of an inspirational woman. (author's note, photos) (Picture book. 6-10) Copyright Kirkus 2009 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2009 August #2
An intimate first-person narrative carries this story of Gee, who, as a child, dreamed of becoming a pilot, and went on to become one of just two Chinese-Americans in the Women Airforce Service Pilots. Radiant acrylic and colored pencil illustrations convey Maggie's desire to take to the sky, as well as her cultural heritage. While serving, Gee is once even mistaken for an enemy pilot ("I felt like an exhibit at the county fair... the amazing Chinese American WASP"), and the book ends with her plane soaring above sherbet clouds: "Now I tell these stories to my children and grandchildren, and my tales must seem as far away to them as China." A triumphant story of determination. Ages 9-12. (Aug.) [Page 57]. Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal Reviews 2009 September
Gr 1-4--This biographical picture book, based on the life of a Chinese-American pilot, has a first-person narrative. Gee describes her love of airplanes as a small child and of sharing with her siblings her dreams of someday flying over places such as the Eiffel Tower and the pyramids. Several years later, when World War II started, she learned about the Women Airforce Service Pilots and knew that she wanted to join them. After attending flight school, she was one of the few chosen to train as a WASP. The work was "hard and tiring and wonderful, all at once" and Gee soon earned her wings. She flew several missions, some of which were fun (training exercises were "like playing tag in the air") and some of which were frightening. Rendered in acrylics and colored pencil, the colorful double-page illustrations are filled with detail and vibrantly depict the settings and events. An author's note provides more information along with photographs of Gee and her family members. This story should serve as inspiration for children that they can achieve whatever they put their minds to.--Donna Atmur, Los Angeles Public Library [Page 145]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.